Archive for the ‘Nostalgia’ Category


The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 took their May 7 meeting night to have a field trip. They gathered at the Melrose Area Historical Museum for a tour of the facility which worked into their monthly theme of Historical Places. One of the museum curators, Roger Paschke, lead the Boy Scouts through the rooms while explaining several of the more interesting of the exhibits. The Scouts learned a little about the founders of Melrose, Minnesota. Mr. Paschke stopped the troop at the Charles Lindberg display for a short explanation of his famous plane trip and his links to Melrose. The boys enjoyed the “war room”, but quickly passed by the religious displays in the “chapel” for some reason. Other popular areas of the museum included the prohibition (moonshine and stills) area, the old printing press, the railroad displays, and the case with the old Scouting memorabilia.  The troop plans to go back to the museum later this month for a scavenger hunt.

Here are a few pictures from the field trip.

 The Boy Scouts learn about the ties Charles Lindberg had to Melrose, Minnesota.

 

 

 

 

 

 This is part of the Scouting display found at the museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 The group photo was taken in front of some of the old farming machinery found in the museum.

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    Your have seen the presentation in the first video. You have heard from the former members of Boy Scout Troop 68 during the next two videos. Now it is time to hear from the retired scoutmaster. In this, the final of four parts of the retirement party, we finally get to hear what Steve has to say after 30 years of serving as the scoutmaster of his home troop. He talks about the Scouts, the parents, the leaders, the committee members, and brings his assistant of 24 years up to the podium.

    Steve has not retired from the Scouting program. He still serves as the troop’s treasurer on the committee, attends the occasional troop meeting, and tags along on an outing now and then. He makes sure he is available if the new scoutmaster has any questions.

    Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
    Or watch it online at the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast channel at PTC Media.

    Subscribe to Melrose Scout Productions Podcast through iTUNES  (and rate the show)
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      If you have been following this blog and the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast you know that two of the four parts of the scoutmaster retirement party video have been posted. Here is the third part. It features more alumni of Boy Scout Troop 68 as they step up to the podium and share their memories of Scouting with Scoutmaster Steve. It features six more gentlemen, of which three earned the rank of Eagle Scout. A few of them are from the first decade of Scoutmaster Steve’s 30 year tenure. One is from the last decade.

       

      Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
      Or watch it online at the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast channel at PTC Media.

      Subscribe to Melrose Scout Productions Podcast through iTUNES  (and rate the show)
      or at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
      Leave feedback here, at iTunes, or on the forums at PTC Media.

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        When the scoutmaster of Troop 68 retired at the end of 2011, the troop committee thought it would be a good idea to throw a retirement party. The party, which was held in February, was well attended. Former troop members from the past 30 years came from as far as a hundred miles away to visit with their retired Scout leader and other troop members. Some of the members had not seen each other for many years. There was a lot of reminiscing and catching up.

        Of course, there was a recognition program (which was featured in the previous video of Melrose Scout Productions). Then came the time for anyone to go to the microphone to speak about being a Boy Scout or sharing a story from years gone by. Many of the former troop members took advantage of the opportunity to talk about their Scouting experiences and to maybe speak from the heart of what being a Boy Scout in Scoutmaster Steve’s troop meant to them now that they are adults themselves.

        This video is the second of four parts of the retirement party. It is the first of two which feature the former Boy Scouts of Troop 68 as they came to the microphone. One father also decided to share his feelings about the Scouting program in Melrose.

        Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
        Or watch it online at the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast channel at PTC Media.

        Subscribe to Melrose Scout Productions Podcast through iTUNES  (and rate the show)
        or at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
        Leave feedback here, at iTunes, or on the forums at PTC Media.

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          I had been curious for a couple of weeks what the committee had planned for the retirement party. They had been very quiet whenever I was nearby. A great example of this was at the February committee meeting. I make the agenda so I listed the party under old business thinking they night bring up a few things that needed to be discussed. When the time came up one committee member passed a sheet of paper to the new scoutmaster and, well, that was it. There was not a discussion, not a word was said. My attempt to get information had failed.

          Finally, the day of the party had arrived. It began at 2:00 in the afternoon with the Boy Scouts, their families, and a few troop alumni present, but people kept coming in. Shortly after 2:45 the Scenic District executive asked people to have a seat, that the program would soon begin. The five rows of tables were not quite filled but soon would be. At 3:00 the district executive, Bob Rueter, called the room to attention and asked everyone to face the flag, and to join him in the Pledge Of Allegiance. Eymard Orth, my assistant scoutmaster of 24 years and the current troop chaplain, gave the invocation.

          Mr. Rueter began the ceremony with the presentation of the last leader’s knot I earned as the troop’s scoutmaster, the Unit Leader Award of Merit, followed by a brief speech about his years working with me. Mr. Orth took the podium next sharing stories of our Scouting experiences. Mark Ettel, the troop’s new scoutmaster, spoke for a few minutes and then asked the current Boy Scouts to come forward. He asked me to joined them and gave me a Norman Rockwell print of the Boy Scout standing in front of the flag of the United States of America, as seen with this post.

          Mr. Ettel opened the floor for anyone to come forward to say a few words or share a story. Eleven former members of the troop took the opportunity to come to the podium. Every decade of the thirty years was represented. (Watch the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast for upcoming videos of these speeches.)

          It was time for me to step up to the microphone. I joked that I could tell a story about everyone of the Scouts present but that we did not have time for that. I did thank the VFW Post 7050 for sponsoring the troop during the last 32 years. I also thanked the American Legion and the Lions Club for supporting the Scouting program. I thanked the parents, especially those who served on the committee and as assistant scoutmasters. Finally, I thanked all the boys and young men who were members of Boy Scout Troop 68 throughout the years. After all, they were they main reason I stayed on as scoutmaster for over 363 months.

          I ended my talk by explaining that I had tried to quit at least four times but for some reason I always changed my mind. It was much nicer to be able to say “I retired” then “I quit”.

          The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting with people and former troop members. All in all, it was a great afternoon.

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            I was a twenty-three year old scoutmaster when I attended a week of training at the Philmont Training Center in 1984. One evening, the staff brought out a reel to reel movie projector and we watched a movie from Disney titled Follow Me Boys. I really enjoyed the movie, as did everyone else in the dining hall that night.

            One of the things that stood out from the movie in my mind was that Lem Siddons’ Boy Scout troop had a building to call its home. A club house, if you will. I thought it would be great for my troop to have a place to call home, but alas, it was not to be for Troop 68 of Melrose. Even after thirty years we still have no place to call home. Not even a meeting room of our own.

            Troop 68 holds their meetings at the Jaycee Park during the summer months, May through September. During the colder months we meet at St. Mary’s School gym. Both places have worked well for us. We plan our meeting activities and games to fit the place we are meeting that month. The park works well for outdoor skills and open air games. The gym is large enough to break into various groups for skill development and is a natural area for indoor competitions.

            Unfortunately, neither place is really a “home” for the troop. We cannot leave troop gear at either place. We cannot leave troop photos, awards, or advancement charts hanging on the walls. We do not have a place to store the troop library or the flags and stands.

            The closest thing to a troop home is my house. The troop gear is stored in a shed in my backyard. The group photos hang on the walls of my stairway and recreation room. One wall is dedicated to the Troop 68 Eagle Scouts. The troop library currently has a spot in a closet. The troop flags and stands are kept in the garage or the trunk of the scoutmaster’s vehicle. My rec room has been the site of patrol leader council and committee meetings for the last fourteen years.

            It would be nice to have a meeting place of our own, or a club house like Lem’s troop. But then, we would also probably have monthly heating, electrical, and water bills. We would have building maintenance costs. We would need to carry property insurance. In other words, we would probably need another yearly fundraiser or two just to pay for this place.

            Yes, it might be nice to have a place to call home, but we have done well with the places we do use. The boys enjoy their meetings (usually). If we had a different meeting place they may not be able to play the rough and tumble games they are so found of. What would a meeting be if the Scouts could not hurl balls at each other during some point of the evening?

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              It has been over 25 years since 1985 came to an end. It was a busy year for the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68. They went to winter camp at Parker Scout Reservation, attended the council’s Ripley Rendezvous at Camp Ripley, held a spring pancake and sausage breakfast fundraiser, went to camp Watchamagumee in the early spring, hopped onto their bicycles for a weekend outing in June, attended summer camp at Tomahawk Scout Camp in Wisconsin, visited the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in September, took part in a city’s emergency drill in October, and even found time to hold a few courts of honor. Like I said, it was a busy but very fun year. Here is a slideshow featuring pictures from those events.

              Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
              Or watch it online at the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast channel at PTC Media.

              Subscribe to Melrose Scout Productions Podcast through iTUNES(and rate the show)
              or at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
              Leave feedback here, at iTunes, or on the forums at PTC Media.

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                Cooking on a Boy Scout camping trip can be an interesting experience, especially with young inexperienced campers. I have seen many burned pancakes, half raw hamburgers, and overturned pots during my days as a scoutmaster. When I am eating something crunchy that really should not be crunchy I am reminded of a camping trip from my days as a youth…

                My troop was attending a district camporee one weekend when I was in my early teens. We were sitting around the campfire ring about to eat our meal. Our scoutmaster, Dr. Scanlan, was sitting next to me. There was a small amount of dirt on my food. I do not remember how it got there, if the patrol cook had done something during preparing the meal, or if I had kicked some dirt onto the plate somehow. I do remember I was not interested in eating this food with its “natural” seasoning. I was a very picky eater and this was not helping the situation.

                I made a fuss and commented that I was not going to eat this stuff. My scoutmaster heard me and replied that a little dirt would not kill me. Then he added something that I will never forget. He said, “A person will eat an average of seven pounds of dirt during his lifetime.”

                I am not ashamed to say that I was surprised and shocked by the statement. I did not know if he was telling the truth, or if he had just made it up. He was a doctor, after all. He would know about these things.  I do recall my reply to him. I looked at him, and at my food, and said, “I don’t want to add to that seven pounds.”

                I do not remember if I ate the food that day or not. I probably did because I was hungry. I have since come to the conclusion though that if you are a scoutmaster you will eat a lot more than seven pounds of dirt in your lifetime.

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